Saturday, May 26, 2012

Why I Didn't Respond To Your LinkedIn Invite

It's weird when I get random friend requests on Facebook. If I don't know you well...and/or haven't talked to you in person or via phone in the last year, I don't want you creeping on my photos. I just don't. My Facebook profile is presumed personal--because I don't have a professional presence there.

BTW: that pro presence on FB is called a page, not a profile, and if you're thinking of starting an author page do it here. No, you can't just convert your personal profile to a professional Facebook presence by cleaning up your act going forward. If people "friend" you it's personal. "Like" you, professional. But I digress.

I get all sorts of LinkedIn requests via email, which is even weirder to me than the rando FB requests. Because, as Dana Kaye so eloquently puts it, is primarily a B2B (business to business) network. So companies do their recruiting there, for instance. It can get you a job. But no one gets to know you there. Name me one person that even logs in to their LI account more than once a week (as opposed to several times a day to Twitter and FB). To quote Dana, "Skip LinkedIn and focus on the communities that matter."

Plus, requesting to be my contact on LI has the connotation that I'm somehow endorsing you to professionally. Which is weird to ask when I've never met you or read any of your work (even if I have, honestly). But, again, digressing.

In short, stoppit. I'm not connecting to you on Linked In.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


You may know Joy Preble as the author of the fantastic Anastasia series from Sourcebooks. But boy have we got good news for you!

Joy's THE SWEET DEAD LIFE will be out from Soho Teen in Spring 2013! 

It's a fantastic book set in my home town of Houston, TX with a heroine that you (might!) literally die for. You just never know. And that's one of the things that makes this contemporary YA mystery such a treat. Here's the amazing cover. Click here to read a description on Joy's website! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm Back From Australia!

I did a lot of things:

I saw koalas:

I fed a kangaroo:
 I went to the beach:
I brooded over landscape:

All in all, very successful! Now to my crowded inbox and regularly scheduled blogging.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cory Doctorow Does What I Said He Would!

Now, Cory Doctorow has written an excellent article about how great for readers, writers, and publishers the demise of DRMs would be.

Don't know what a DRM is? Read this. And this, for my analysis.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Perfect Ebook Price

It seems sometimes that no one is talking about anything except ebook pricing. Whether it relates to owning vs. leasing content because of DRM, or piracy, or costs to publishers (always misrepresented, but that's another post). Now, Paulo Coelho posits that the best way is the iTunes way: $0.99 ebooks.

His logic? Making an ebook that cheap prevents piracy because it's easier to buy an ebook legally than go through even well-lit back channels to get a free version, and at $0.99, the price isn't enough of a barrier to divert people into piracy (though you'll note that this is a "sale." Because this price point is unsustainable).

But piracy is not completely a bad thing, nor is it something we can stop. Ever. Cory Doctrow will tell you that. People will pirate if they want to, and they won't if they don't. Making content more accessible by removing DRMs is going to be more effective than low-pricing publishing out of business. Piracy doesn't put industries out of business. Monopolies and bully-pricing do.

Looking to the music industry as a model of how we want book publishing to end up is a mistake.

They, too, were obsessed with piracy, 15 years ago. They did not stop piracy. Now, in most cases, music sales don't even make the profits. It's the tours, the merchandise, the endorsements. And do you know of any authors who can create enough of a spectacle to fill Madison Square Garden??

Popular (read, money-making) music is produced through a few hyper-consolidated means (the same producers and song-writers work on pretty much every song you hear by Katy Perry, Beyonce, and Rhianna) and distributed, essentially, through ONE channel. That would be Apple, ladies and gents. Book publishing has our own Big A looking to achieve this status.

Music's obsession with preventing piracy, rather than improving content and innovating sales mechanisms, is part of why they're where they are. When they realized that fighting piracy is like fighting a flood with a thimble, it was too late.

Music's evolution, a reactionary rather than proactive one, should serve not as our model but as our warning.

What do you think? What would you pay for an ebook? If we've all agreed that $0.99 is the right price for a song, does that transfer to a book?